Not all tales end well
I read your article about ex-Independent staff (7 June, Insurance Times) - it was good to hear how former colleagues are doing. But not all of us came out unscathed, with the experience fading to a temporary blip in an ongoing career.
I worked for the company in its various forms for 36 years, 16 of which counted for nothing in the redundancy payment calculation, along with about half my weekly wage. The payment itself took nearly five months to arrive and just about paid off the overdraft I had accumulated.
Having registered with two insurance recruitment agencies, I had an interview with one and have received no contact at all from the other since the day I registered.
I won't bore you with the misery of applying for benefits, but as my wife was suffering from motor neurone disease and the prospect of another job in insurance faded I became her carer for £140 a month.
The payment protection insurances I had purchased on various loans didn't work - I wasn't unemployed, I was a carer.
Although I was able to retire early in February this year, the extra money came too late for my wife, who sadly died in January.
I now work for a job agency doing whatever comes along at a rate of £4.10 an hour and was recently amused to find myself sweeping the floor of a factory which Independent once insured.
I, like my colleagues in your article, experienced the same sense of shock and disbelief when the company folded and felt the employees who worked so hard to make a few others rich should have been better served for our trust.
Despite everything I have largely put aside my feelings of bitterness and have a balance in my life that was never there at Independent, where the staff seemed to have competitions to see who could work the most hours.
One thing does still upset me. Of all the brokers I served well in various roles over the years, only one took the small amount of time and effort required to make contact and offer help.